The news from North Carolina sounded horrible at first. Twenty-one people were standing on the deck of a rental home on the Outer Banks when the deck collapsed. Most were injured and taken to the hospital. It could have been far worse, of course, but the final chapters haven’t been written.
Trial lawyers will be all over these injured people like ticks on a picnic blanket. This beach home rents for 10,000 bucks a week. It’s obviously owned by someone who has deep pockets. It’s also in a private neighborhood of wealthy homes and the lawyers will be looking for every deep pocket in sight. And that means Homeowners Associations. HOAs take out insurance against calamities like this one, but every one of those policies has an upper limit. They also have exceptions for things like improper design and maintenance. The bottom line is that rich people in a rich HOA are legally bound to each other under the CC&Rs. Dang, that’s a lot of deep pockets! This series of lawsuits is going to put a lot of lawyers’ kids through college.
When you join a Homeowners Association you and your assets are community property. If you don’t believe that, then pay attention to property values in the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman neighborhood. And watch property values in this nice HOA on the beach. Lordy, Lordy! Smell the money.